Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

NG Tubes, mLs, and Feedings

When my preemie was admitted into the NICU I determined to keep a daily journal of her NICU stay. I kept track of her weight, feedings, blood work, nurse and doctor names, oxygen levels, visitors, room changes, and medical procedures. Somehow I knew that I would someday be glad I had so much detailed information about my preemie’s NICU experiences.

Just for fun and interesting comparison, I thought I’d share with all of you a time line of my preemie’s feedings during her NICU stay.  I thought it would be interesting to compare with similar-aged preemies, and for those of you who had earlier or later preemies to compare situations when gestational weeks elapsed.

If any of you have recorded similar information about your preemie and have interesting similarities or differences, please share!

Remember, my preemie was born at 27w3d. Here goes!

27 Weeks
Days 1-3:  sugar water only in ng tube
28 Weeks
Days 4-7: 1 drop breastmilk every 6 hrs to line the stomach
29 Weeks
Day 11: 10 mL feeds every 3 hrs
Day 15: 14 mL feeds every 3 hrs
Day 16: 21 mL feeds every 3 hrs
Day 17: 24 mL feeds every 3 hrs (every 3 hrs understood from now on due to “Cares” schedule)
30 Weeks
Day 21: 27 mL feeds + lipids in the milk
31 Weeks
Day 27: still 27 mL feeds
Day 28: 29 mL feeds
32 Weeks
Day 38: first breastfeeding!
33 Weeks
Day 40: 33.5 mL feeds
34 Weeks
Day 48: 39 mL feeds
Day 50: breastfeed 15-20 mL!
Day 51: 41 mL feeds
35 Weeks
Day 54: breastfed 38 mL, a full feeding!
Day 57: breastfed 60 mL!
Day 59: breastfed 3 times 10-16 mL each
36 Weeks
Day 60: first bottle feeding – 35 mL!
Day 65: 53 mL feeds
37 Weeks
Day 68: 5 bottle feedings! (3 full and 2 half)
38 Weeks
Day 74: Ad lib feeds!
Day 77: full POs, 70-80 mL feeds!
Day 79: breastfed 84 mL!
39 Weeks
Day 84: on demand feeds! (bottle & breast when she wakes up ready to eat – 4 hr max wait – ng tube if she doesn’t wake up to eat)
Day 85: gavaged all night long – exhausted from day feedings
Days 86-87: ROOM-IN!!  All breastfeeding but 1 ng at night.
40 Weeks
Day 89: all oral feeds, no more ng tube!
Day 92: all oral feeds – ROOM-IN!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. This is so awesome Afton!! I wish that I would have done something like this. I think I was in shock (seriously) for the 1st 6 weeks. I just couldn’t believe what I was staring at — and I wasn’t really capable of thinking clearly. I so wish I would’ve thought of doing this!! What a fun thing to have to look back on. 🙂

  2. Wow! Your daughter did very well! There is not enough room on this page to record the feeding drama of my 23w 5d son who is now 22 months. He was all over the place with feeding in the NICU and still is today. He was 2 months old before he received anything but the TPN which put him in jeopardy of liver jaundice (different than the billirubin). He is currently still being bottle fed and only small amounts of stage 1 during the day. His night time nurses feed him at night through his G-tube. He has got normal brain function, but is just real stubborn with this whole eating thing! I think he is just trying to steal my attention away from his older 2 sisters.

  3. Mine was similar but we had to stop feeding and start gut stem feed again twice during our stay. When she came home at 35 1/2 weeks she was up to 55ml every 3 hours.

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